Here's what a few of our students are saying about our programs:

Raymond Z., All City Bass Player

Project 440 has made a large impact on the way I view music. It all started with the free workshops that Project 440 offered to [All City] students. I was immediately interested and curious and decided to attend. The list of workshops was quite diverse.... They were all very engaging, and taught me that music isn't just limited to performance and winning a job in an orchestra one day. There are a vast number of careers out there that can involve music. I was really inspired by the workshops, which drove me to participate in the All City Chamber Group Series led by Project 440.

I initially joined the chamber groups expecting to be only performing a piece given to us for a selected audience. Isn't that what most chamber groups do? However, I was mistaken; I found out that we were required to not only perform our piece, but also present our piece in an engaging way to an audience of kids. My group and I were assigned a Project 440 chamber coach to assist in the process of creating and formatting our presentation. Together, we brainstormed creative ways to use Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, the piece we were playing, to teach kids about music. Throughout the process, we experimented with different parts of the piece to somehow teach the kids about several musical concepts such as tempo, articulation and key. Surprisingly, we were spending more time on the presentation than actually practicing the piece! As my group and I presented and performed our piece to children at CHOP, I was filled with excitement and happiness to be educating the youth about what can be done with music. ... It feels good knowing that I left CHOP leaving a smile on a child's face and hopefully encouraging them to pick up music in their lives one day.

Through Project 440, I not only grew as a musician and performer, but also as an educator. I am very grateful for the invaluable lessons, opportunities, and experiences Project 440 has given me. I hope to learn from and work with Project 440 more in the future!

Allen L., NYO2 Violinist

One of the key themes of our activities at [Carnegie Hall's] NYO2 [National Youth Orchestra 2] was creating a positive difference through music, and my first eye-opening experience was a series of social entrepreneurship workshops with Project 440. In the workshops, several entrepreneurs explained how they executed ideas for musical opportunities and taught us how we could do the same. The most exciting aspect of the workshops was the culminating "shark tank." We formed teams, worked together to develop an idea for a music-related business, and pitched our ideas to a panel of judges. As entrepreneurs, it seemed natural that all of our teams would attempt to create the most unique business possible. I recall our team's enthusiasm as we discussed how our idea of creating a musician's social network would stand out from the other projects. Yet, as each team pitched its idea at the Sunday finale, a striking similarity among all of our projects emerged: each business was motivated by a desire to bring opportunities to musicians with limited access to musical training and experiences.

Our farewell party on the last day ended with the staff congratulating us on NYO2's successful inaugural season. At one point, our wonderful director, David Gracia, made a remark that truly resonated with me: He reminded us that since Carnegie Hall had given us NYO2, we now had a responsibility to bring the experience back to our hometowns. The creators of NYO2 [and Project 440] ...wanted us to make music more accessible in our own communities, just as Carnegie Hall had done for us. I feel that my experiences in NYO2 have inspired and empowered me to make this kind of impact. For the gift of inspiration and empowerment, I could not be more thankful.